Darian Thompson of the Giants is seen on the sidelines...

Darian Thompson of the Giants is seen on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: George McNish

In some ways, the Giants are getting an extra third-round pick this season.

That’s because last year’s selection in that round, free safety Darian Thompson, hardly played at all. Though penciled in as a starter, he appeared in just two games due to shoulder and foot injuries, the second of which required season-ending surgery. The Giants used undrafted rookie Andrew Adams and veteran Leon Hall to fill the spot, but neither produced the way the team projected that Thompson would have.

So far this year, it appears that Thompson will be ready to step back into the job he hardly ever held.

“He’s smart, fast, quick and knows the game,” Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins said of Thompson, who has been participating with the Giants in the first few days of the offseason program at full speed. “He has the knowledge. In doing so, that’s what you need as a partner, leader and secondary person to run a defense.”

Thompson impressed the Giants coaches from his rookie minicamp with the way he directed the entire defense on the field. The Giants certainly didn’t miss him much from a statistical perspective — they finished the season ranked 10th in total defense — but his addition will undoubtedly help them as they move forward with even higher expectations.

“The goal for the group is ultimately to try and be number one,” Collins said. “What we look at as a team, we have the same guys coming back mostly.”

And that includes Thompson, who will get a chance to take on the role he could not last year.

“He definitely looks very healthy and in the meeting rooms, he’s still as smart as he was when he first stepped in,” Collins said. “We pray for no injuries and stay as strong as we can. Stay out of that medical room. Things happen, but at the end of the day, that’s what we’re trying to do is stay healthy.”

More Giants